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First known as Fried Fish Dealers, Fish and Chip Shops have a long tradition in Rishton, spanning over 2 Centuries.
In November 2003, Brook Street ownership changed hands once more, one of the two remaining English chip shops in the town sold up to become the third Chinese takeaway in the town. Residing at number 7, Brook Street chip shop has been in this location since before 1935, when it was owned by William H. Bailey. In 1947 the shop was being run by Thomas Hargreaves who was still there in 1951. Unlike some of the chip shops in the town, number 7 is not on the corner of two streets, although it is at the end of a row of terraced houses. Number seven sits at the entrance to the back street of Commercial Street. The shop is in a nice residential area these days, still in view of the Working Men's Club on Commercial Street, but would have been within spitting distance of most of the main shops in the town, at one time in its history.
George Street chippy, the Atlantic, is the only remaining chip shop selling tradition English fish and chips, up to 2005. Number 6 George Street, like Brook street is a long standing chip shop, again having been in this location since the early 30's at least. Harry Rawcliffe was in residence in 1947, and had moved into the shop before the 2nd World War in 1939. They were still the owners 4 years later in 1951. The Rawcliffe's closed the shop for a time during the 1960's, although for how long or what reason is unknown. The Rawcliffe's also owned 15 Company Street, which I assume they rented, as they lived in the Chip Shop. I think Nora Saunders lived lived here whilst working at the Donshu.
Sitting on the corner of George Street with its junction with Edward Street, The chippy is easily visible from High Street, attracting any passing trade from the road, but it is also across the road from the Harmonic Club, and 20 yards up the road from the Roebuck Inn, so a shop open at closing time with the thirst of the beer drinker quenched would have quite easily survived all these years.
72 Livesey Street, once owned by Thomas Catlow, was a chip shop which was in the middle of the block, opposite the red brick wall of York Mill. Why the shop closed down is currently unknown. It wasn't unusual to find a shop in the middle of a block of terraced houses like this, but it is one of the few, if not the only shop which wasn't at the end of a terraced block. After seeing the location, im not sure if this wasn't simply the home of a fish fryer, or indeed if it was a shop. The location of the shop is in a good location, being 50 yards away from the main Rishton to Great Harwood road, Harwood Road, so it seems it was only a case of getting the passing traffic to stop to dine.
Alfred Earnshaw was the one time owner of the chip shop based in number 95 Spring Street. This was during the 1930's. John Hurst was still operating a Fried Fish Shop from here in 1947, but in 1951 it was J. Snowden who was running the shop. Situated on the corner of Spring Street with its junction to Livesey Street, the premises had a corner door with windows on either side of it, making a rather grand impression as the windows were double terrace house size.
Also on Spring Street, this time at the opposite end at number 3 (just off High Street) was the Fried Fish Dealer, James Rawcliffe. Right off the High Street, the property was in a good location, again sat at one end of a block of 3 terraced properties. These 3 properties were demolished and a car park built in their place.
William Haworth at 23 High Street was another fried fish dealer, sat at the end of a small block of terraced shops, which eventually contained the post Office and Trustees Saving Bank, with one of the news agents in the town, and, in 2000, a bookmakers next to this, the final property being the fried fish dealers. By the turn of the millennium, the shop was being used as a butchers/hot food takeaway by Peter Norman.
Another fried fish dealers was John Mitchell's at number 90 High Street. In 1947 the business was being run by Harry Cheetham, who was still in residence there in 1951. This became Nelly Shaw's chippy on High Street in later years, during the 1970's and 80's, who sold the business on to the Chinese in the 1980's. Found opposite the entrance to Walmsley Street, this chip shop has always been in the very heart of the town.
Across the road was Henry Walsh's, next to Morris Jones electrical shop, at number 81 High Street. Henry was still here 12 years later. 4 years after this, in 1951, the shop was owned by S. Nuttall. Number 81 is two doors up from the junction with Mary Street, and within view of High Street and Harwood junction.
15 Hermitage Street still operates as a chip shop in 2004. Although the chip shop is now owned by the Chinese, this was once the residence of Robert Snape, that was in 1935. Robert Talbot had control of the business in 1947, and still four later in 1951, and is remembered in the town in 2003, having owned the chip shop for some considerable years.
Frederick Holden in the 1930's was at number 47 which is now a residential property, but was also once a chip shop. Number 15 is 3 houses down from Parker Street, while number 47 is 3 houses up from James Street, both of them sitting in the same block of terraced houses on the main road to Blackburn and Burnley.
James Leigh (known as Jem Leigh) at 30 Fielding Street was another fried fish dealer in the 30's. Sat on the corner of the street where it is severed by Derby Street, this was in a tough area for trade, being the third shop over the canal selling fried fish. All three shops were within 100 yards of each, this and the two on Hermitage Street. The building is now residential, and is the end property on the block of terraced houses. The shop closed its doors in 1941, the last customer being Keith. Born on Fielding Street at number 41, Keith was knee high to a grasshopper at the time, being about 3 or 4 years old. He clearly remembered the occasion, as he was passing, Jem called to him, saying "Come in Cock, Im shutting now", and he meant it!
33 Haworth Street saw yet another Fried Fish Dealer, this one was run by Alexander Wilson in 1935, 16 years later and Alex was still in the same shop. Sat on the corner of Haworth Street and Mary Street, this shop would have served the surrounding residential area very well, encompassing quite a large amount of housing.
A total of 12 Fried Fish Dealers could be found in Rishton in 1935, with only 7 remaining in 1947. This number, 7, remained static until 1951 at least when there were still 7 chip shops in Rishton. By the turn of the millennium there were just four fried fish dealers remaining, selling a heck of a lot more than just fried fish!